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Trope Series, 3/? - So many colors hidden in one
And oh so much more
shadeofblues
shadeofblues
Trope Series, 3/?
Fandom: Ninpocho...again...
Title: Subordinate Excuse
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Enzan/Tatsuya (one-sided?)
Type: One-shot
Warnings: Crack pairing, AU.
PoV: Enzan's.
Spoilers: No.
Other: Ahahaha, the Bodyguard Crush's counterpart, Subordinate Excuse. I'm using the second variant here, in which it's the boss who keeps people around because they like them. AU in which Enzan chooses to stay instead of go at the end of his arc. He needs a bodyguard for real, since things have been getting more dangerous, and...



"So." Enzan was mired in files an ankle deep in his office. Again. This seemed to have been happening with disturbing frequency lately, ever since they had switched off of decaf in the Monolith's coffee pot. Come to think of it, maybe Saito had had a reason for using decaf in the first place. "Uh. What, exactly, is the issue?"

Unlike him, Setsuko had no issue stepping through the piles. She used her ghost form less sparingly than he did. "Youneedanewbodyguard."

He blinked, processing this. "Could you...maybe slow that down?"

She looked slightly embarrassed. Sensitive to caffeine? "You need a new bodyguard."

"Don't be ridiculous. Alpha is fine--oof!" Unwilling to shift, he'd tripped over one of the outcroppings (stalagmites?) in his floor that had been obscured by a stack of paperwork and fallen flat on his face.

Impossible architecture had seemed so much more fun when he wasn't the one falling over.

Setsuko gave him her patented Look. "Alpha is you."

She also entirely failed to be moved by his plight and help him up. Bitch.

"That's ridiculous. What kind of idiot would moonlight as his own bodyguard?" He attempted to stand, slipped on a loose folder, and fell backwards into the mass of files. "Ow."

"Apparently you." Ouch. Setsuko on caffeine was blunt. "The cloak doesn't work against other walkers."

"Damn." He gave up trying to stand. None of this was essential paperwork, was it? Well, at least it probably wouldn't mind being on fire too much. "Who else knows?"

"Only anyone you've told." Pause. "And the Council. They weren't impressed."

Enzan groaned and hit the back of his head against the floor--or as close as possible--a few times. "What do they want from me now?"

"The info they sent is over there," she indicated a pile of papers that hadn't quite made it to his desk. "They are requesting you select an experienced ANBU for your bodyguard before one is selected for you."

"Wonderful." He sat up and made a few handseals, the papers levitating over to him. Setsuko didn't blink. He dug into the pile at random, glanced at the file, and tossed it over his shoulder. This was repeated a few times until he found one that looked semi-acceptable. Older brother of one of my students...hot damn. Not hard on the eyes, either. "Here. Him."

"Good choice." Her wrist flicked out and grabbed the sheet, leaving her to motor off through the (closed) door before he called her back.

"Setsuko!" She paused and turned. "Lay off the coffee for a bit, huh?" He weakly indicated the state of his office.

"...Maybe."

Enzan groaned, letting himself fall back onto the floor.

~

Tatsuya was competent enough. He was efficient at more than just fighting (and also apparently a neat freak, judging by the expression on his face when he saw Enzan's office) and not bad at that. Though he refused to genuinely fight unless there was danger, a spar proved he was definitely qualified in that respect.

He was also, in Enzan's honest opinion, absolutely gorgeous.

Sure, he exhibited all the personality of a piece of plywood. And, maybe he didn't talk much, and he definitely seemed to be a doormat. At the very least, he was completely obedient around Enzan and he heard no complaints from anyone else.

That in itself was the issue. People who didn't listen to him drove Enzan up the wall, and Tatsuya listened to him flawlessly. If he had acted at all like he would have in the same place, there would have been no issue and he could have gone back to daydreaming of Kimi, who he knew, odds were, probably would barely ever speak to him again since he'd made her think he was leaving.

But he didn't. He shadowed along quietly, saved his life during the stupid incident with the Cloud ninja (next time he'd send Renzo on patrol, except that without Tatsuya there he would have been deader than he already was, and he wouldn't inflict that on a Sennin whose name wasn't Hira), and even taken him to the hospital.

The notepaper airplanes (a recent invention of his that now plagued the Monolith) swirled around his office. Tatsuya stood in the corner, as usual, not even browsing files or reading anything of his own but staring silently out either the door or the window.

And people think I'm creepy. He debated doing more paperwork, but that ultimately sounded less appealing than the prospect of cracking that flawless veneer.

He wanted badly to find something underneath, because so far he'd found nothing worth staying for, and he was going crazy inside.

"Tatsuya."

"Enzan-sama?" The inflection was barely there, but it was a slight flicker of some emotion, too quick for him to grasp. It was the same tone that was always in his voice when called.

I can frustrate a reaction out of everyone else I've ever met. What the hell makes you so damn special that I can't get to you and you're driving me crazy?

"Listen, I'm going drinking later..." well, he didn't lie, so he was now, "and I want someone to go with who doesn't fall over after one or two shots. Come with?"

That had sounded a lot less pathetic in his head. He turned his head to watch the silent deliberation. Tatsuya gave the impression of being slow, but Enzan had come to realize that he actually thought about his every move and decision, meaning he probably didn't act the way he did without a lot of training.

"I don't drink much," he said finally, "but I will accompany you."

Formal. Bland. Entirely precise. Enzan sighed. "Thanks."

He made to turn back to his paperwork, but was interrupted by a soft, "Did you not want me to come?"

"Huh?" He glanced back, startled to find sharp grey eyes on him. Yeah, it would feel good to have that kind of intensity on him more often, maybe with him between them and a wall, or...no, stay off that track. "It's not that. You just didn't sound very...enthusiastic."

"You are used to my brother, who wears his heart on his sleeve." Those soft tones again. They were layered with emotion, a direct opposite to the clear and concise speech he normally showed. However, it was far too quiet to pull anything specific out. "I am not like that. I would like to go."

"Okay. Good." Turning back to his paperwork was utterly impossible now, not with that speech draping around him like silk sheets. "Uh."

There was a slightly awkward pause, or at least awkward on his end.

"You were doing the medical reports."

So he paid attention too? Marry me, Enzan felt like saying, but he was sure that would pass. "Right. Thanks."

A while passed, with just the scratching of his pen for ambient sound (all documents that came out of his office tended to do so in whatever colour he favoured that day, to the endless frustration of anyone who picked them up) and absolutely no productive thoughts running through his head. More memos zoomed in and out.

He doesn't even flinch at any of this crap. Seiya freaked out and flipped a table on me when three of them attacked her. That was really his fault for building security protocols into the things, though. Goddammit, I'm thinking about him again.

"You know, it's weird." Crap! Why do you always have to start talking? "I don't know even a thing about you."

"You've read my file." The normal, flat tones.

"For all the good it does." Nowhere near the information he wanted would be in an ANBU personnel file about someone. "I mean, about you. Not your history. The sort of things you like. Your friends. Love interests. That sort of thing."

Now the silence was mutually awkward.

"Why do you care?" This sounded like surprise. Well, Enzan reflected, he didn't exactly give off the huggy-lovey feeling, or seem like he cared about anyone at all.

"Because you're a person, not a thing." Lame justification, but he did think it. It seemed to evoke some sort of response, though.

"You...think that?" This time, there was shock, mingled with a touch of caution. He wasn't imagining it. What the hell had been done to the poor kid in the past?

"Of course." He swiveled around in his chair. That clear grey gaze was on him again, wide eyes with none of the innocence but all of the emotion of his brother. He groaned internally. That wasn't going to help him any. "Why would I think anything else?"

"...No one has before." Ah, raised to be a weapon. That he could understand.

It was at this point Enzan noticed they were much too close to each other.

"Does that actually...mean something to you?" No. Bad Mizu. No hitting on your bodyguard.

"Quite a lot." The smile in his eyes didn't reach the rest of his expression. "Thank you."

He returned the implied smile with one of his own self-mocking grins and went back to his work. A while later another thought struck him and he paused. "...Tatsuya?"

"Yes?" There was a bit more warmth there now. Much better.

"How about we skip the bar but not the drinking?"

"I'd like that." Ah, he hadn't actually asked for a change in address yet. Enzan let a smile play at the corners of his lips.

"Great." Another thought struck him this one much more urgent. "Er. Tatsuya?"

"Yes?" Puzzlement this time, as if it didn't factor into his view of the world.

This was embarrassing.

"Can we do it at your place? I sort of...live in the woods."

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